John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”
I believe a lot of people have the wrong perception of what Life Eternal really is. Someone will tell me that they are on this earth to live for themselves, and one day die and go to Heaven; and that when they are in Heaven life eternal will truly begin. Now, The Bible teaches us that Heaven is the continuing of Life eternal. We have all of Heaven on earth today. Do you believe that? We sure don’t live it from day to day.
I cannot wait to get to Heaven. I know that we will have a glorified body one day, and we will be able to walk the streets of Gold. My Christian life in Heaven will be in Christ, and my Christian life today is in Christ.
Jesus defines the Christian life. He says this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God! Therefore, eternal life is knowing God.
What does this mean for us as believers? Would you take a moment and ponder these truths?
(1) We must spend our entire life knowing God. I don’t believe that eternity will be long enough to truly know everything about our Heavenly Father. His riches are measureless! The earth itself could not contain everything done by Jesus Christ when He walked upon it. The greatest reality about eternal life is that I can Know Him! Jesus is life. Therefore, knowing God is what eternal life is all about (John 11:25).
Eternal life is not a destination; it is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I love the desire of the Apostle Paul. He said “that I may know Him”. This is where all of us must be in our walk with God. We must be the Mary of the Bible sitting at the feet of Jesus - I want to know HIM!
I laugh sometimes at the simple perception of a carnal believer. It’s like walking into the gates of Heaven is going to change everything I know about eternal life. This indeed may be the case, but it’s not Heaven that is hindering us from knowing God. I can talk to God now, just as much as when I am in Heaven. Do you believe that? I can intercede now, just as much as I can when I get to Heaven? Do you live that? I have God’s attention now just as much as I would one day in Heaven. It’s true.
I have one life to live on this earth, and I must spend it knowing the Creator God. I have eternity in Heaven to know God. There are many that are going to be in great need of catching up in that walk with God. I hope that it’s not me!
(2) It means that we have an eternal purpose (V16). Now, God sent Jesus with a purpose in this world, and I am also sent with a purpose into this world. I find it interesting what Jesus said in verse 15. He said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that those shouldest keep them from evil”. When Jesus finished His work on earth, He was taken into Heaven. His eternal Work was complete.
We are so confused when we stop and consider Heaven today. We believe that Heaven is the end of the Christian life and the beginning of Eternal Life. Yet, Eternal life can be lived in Heaven or on Earth! Jesus did not pray for us to be relived from the hardship of this Earth. The prayer of Jesus was for us to be reinforced as we live with eternal life on earth. He said this is life eternal that they can know the true God. I am glad that as I live this life for His eternal purpose, that I do not have to walk in darkness, but that I can Know the Creator God along life’s way.
Now, what does it means for us today? It simply means that I still have purpose on this earth or else I would be in Heaven in His presence. The very fact that I am still on Earth means that I still have a purpose on this earth. Paul said that his time on earth was at hand, and that He finished His purpose on earth. Jesus said as He was sent – we are also sent into the World. Our purpose is to proclaim the Good News that Salvation is of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Can you leave this earth as a Christian and not fulfill your purpose? I believe so. It ought not to be the cause. We have one life to live; we must live it for Jesus Christ!
(3) I must use the Bible as my sword, and fight the battle God has given me (V17-19). Jesus said sanctify them by Thy Word, which is Truth. It’s the Truth that is going to equip us to do what God has given us to do.
The longer I Pastor His church, the longer I realize that it’s the Word of God that is going to make the difference in our lives.
The Word sanctify means to set apart for the work of God. I am set a part for the Lord, and He equips me to do His work through His Word. Jesus did not pray for us to be removed from this world; instead, he gives us the Bible to overcome and fulfill the purpose that God has given us to do.
I hope that these thoughts will be a blessing to do you. I know that they have been a wonderful blessing to me.